The first time I moseyed up to an outdoor bar-stool at the Octopus
(1942 Hollywood Blvd.), I noticed the guy sitting next to me eating the same
meal as his dog—scrambled eggs and sausage (him from a plate, the dog from a
bowl).

The
bartender/chef that morning was Mac (no last name provided). Hey, restaurants
where your pets can dine have become all the rage in hip enclaves and I reckon
Mac was on the forefront of that movement…

Mac
has lived in Hollywood for twenty-five years. I asked the colorful cocktail concoctor
when he first started pouring the hooch. “When I was eight-years-old,” he
responded with a straight face.

“My
grandparents owned a moonshine place in Texas—they put me to work serving eggs
and grits and mason jars of moonshine.”

Mac
began working the planks in the Hollywood area some fifteen-years ago at
O’Malley’s Ocean Pub. And it wasn’t by choice but by chance…

You
see Mac was in the construction industry and a regular at O’Malley’s. One day
both bartenders called in sick and the owner asked Mac if he’d fill in. Happy
to oblige, Mac’s career as a mixologist was born.

 After
O’Malley’s, Mac worked at the Downtown 28 on Harrison Street and for the past six-years
he’s been a morning fixture at the Octopus.

It’s
hard to pin down the character of the Octopus as the clientele seem to change
by the hour (they’re open from 7am til 5am daily). I call it a
transitional/crossover of mixed company—everyone’s welcome that’s for sure.

“The
Octopus reflects the town of Hollywood,” Mac says; “Variety and
diversification.”

Regarding
that breakfast I came upon during my very first visit (which has remained the
best kept culinary secret in our hip hamlet), Mac advised.

“I
started cooking up breakfast for industry folk and people from Memorial
Hospital. They’d be getting off work in the wee-hours. We were open. They were
hungry.

“I
guess it caught on and before I knew it, my regulars were requesting food—some
of these people have pets and so I cooked for them too!”

During yesterday’s cold snap, Mac was at it again (quintessential),
serving bowls of homemade potato soup to any, and all, chilled and hungry clientele.

Mac
the Mixologist, is certainly a one-of-a-kind. The type of cat that keeps
Hollywood hipper than thou…

tumblr_inline_ojicsfu1PH1upgrjk_540 A Tale of Two Bartenders (Part I)
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